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RANZCO Seeks Reassurances From Queensland Health PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is extremely concerned about current developments in the Queensland Health specialist contract dispute. As the body responsible for the training of all ophthalmologists in Australia and New Zealand, and the accreditation of the hospitals in which they train, RANZCO is particularly concerned that senior doctors may leave the public health system.

RANZCO President Dr Stephen Best explained the effect this would have: "This would have a major impact on the eye-care needs of the community, the quality of clinical services, the accreditation of hospitals as training posts and the training of future ophthalmologists".

"It is not a simple process to replace specialist doctors. Given Australia's reputation for having one of the best training programs in the world, we do not see that overseas trained specialists will necessarily be suitable educators. We support the position statement by the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges that the Australian community is entitled to expect that medical specialists will be trained to high standards of competence under appropriate supervision to ensure the provision of high quality, safe patient care. Queensland's eye-care needs are particularly high for the indigenous population. Queensland ophthalmologists have a very good reputation for seeing to these needs, but without public hospital ophthalmologists and stable future training in Queensland this will inevitably decline. We are calling for a rapid and appropriate solution from Queensland Health that will see the current standards and numbers of appropriate senior doctors maintained,” said Dr Best.

 
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Launches Website Dedicated to Vision Loss PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 04 April 2014

Vision Loss LaunchWith the incidence of vision loss increasing, a new website, www.visionloss.com.au, was launched this week to enable people affected to know how and where to access services as quickly as possible. Designed by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT the website is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia dedicated to the issue of vision loss. (in picture from left to right - Guide Dogs NSWACT client Dr Helen Beange AM with Guide Dogs NSWACT Web Designer Rosalie Williams and Centre for Eye Health Director Professor Michael Kalloniatis)

Featuring sections on different vision conditions, information on local services, links to support groups and industry bodies, and an interactive discussion forum, it aims to provide eye-care professionals, people experiencing vision loss and the public with a single portal of information about eye health and the range of expert services available from optometrists through to the free specialist services provided by organisations like Guide Dogs.

"After many years working with the eye-health industry and people who are blind or vision impaired, we realised there was an opportunity to create a central online site about vision loss," said Charles Ulm, Marketing and Communications Manager of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. "We strongly encourage people experiencing trouble getting around because of vision loss to seek help early but were concerned they, their families and their eye-health professionals may not know how to quickly and easily find that help. www.visionloss.com.au is designed to be that solution."

Prominent researcher and optometrist, Professor Michael Kalloniatis, Director at the Centre for Eye Health in Sydney where the website was launched, congratulated Guide Dogs on taking the initiative to develop a tool that would fill a gap in the industry. "In many cases, once a person is diagnosed with a serious vision condition eye-health professionals may be unaware of the rehabilitation services available that can help that person maintain their independence and quality of life," said Dr Kalloniatis.

"As an optometrist, it's important I know how to advise patients appropriately and this website fills a gap in providing that information. Learning you are losing your vision can have a huge impact on your life, so it's vital people in that situation know there are services and supports to help them maintain or regain quality of life."

The website is accessible for people who are blind or vision impaired with features including options for text to be read by a screen reader, enlarged or even the contrast changed to make it easier to read. Sydney resident Dr Helen Beange AM says she would have loved a website like www.visionloss.com.au when she started to lose her sight to age-related Macular Degeneration nine years ago at the age of 78.

"This website provides you with one central place for information about the various vision conditions, services available and a forum for sharing ideas," says Dr Beange, whose vision impairment forced her retirement from her career as a well-known public health physician specialising in providing medical advice and support to people with intellectual disabilities. "When I first started losing my vision it was difficult to accept and I found it hard to find information. It's also a great tool for family members of people with a vision condition like mine so they can learn and understand the importance of getting their eyes checked."

 
Aussie Online Retailer Launches 3D Printed Frames PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 02 April 2014

Sneaking DuckAustralian online retailer Sneaking Duck, in association with Vert Design,  have launched custom 3D printed eyewear.

The frames are made from nylon using a technique called selective laser sintering (to the cooler cats, that's 'SLS'). The laser transforms powder into the customised glasses. The nylon material tends to show signs of wear and tear more than your typical acetate. For instance, they'll fade in the sun and their rugged, sandy texture will smooth over time.

There are currently four base designs available: the Dame, Cooper, Archer and HB. The frames have been hand-crafted by industrial designer Andrew Simpson at design house, Vert Design. Andrew and his team have hand-crafted and rigorously tested these designs over many months. From the styling to the innovative hinge construction.

The 3D-customised glasses come with standard lenses and cost $360.

 
The Fred Hollows Foundation and Specsavers Join Forces in Indigenous Project PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 01 April 2014

Fred Hollows Indigenous ProjectThe Fred Hollows Foundation and Specsavers have joined forces on a new project that will raise funds to help Close the Gap on vision loss between Indigenous and mainstream Australians.

Aboriginal artist Langaliki Langaliki – who has undergone two sight-saving operations – has given permission for her Ngura work to feature on limited edition frames. The South Australian artist lives in Pukatja, 435 kilometres south west of Alice Springs, and paints in the colourful and dramatic style for which the Ernabella region is famous. Regaining her sight has given Langaliki the confidence to leave her aged care home to spend time with her family and concentrate on her art.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are six times more likely than other Australians to go blind, even though their children have better vision than the mainstream population. The Fred Hollows Foundation's founding director, Gabi Hollows, has welcomed the latest project.

 
Retinal Fellowships for 2015 Announced PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The RANZCO Eye Foundation, together with Bayer Australia and Novartis Australia, have announced that applications are now invited for the Medical Retina Research Fellowships for 2015. It is intended that scholarships will be awarded to candidates undertaking research in the area of medical retina.

Applications should be sent to The RANZCO Eye Foundation as detailed in the Scholarship Guidelines no later than 5.00pm (AEST) on Friday 9th May 2014.

Successful applicants will conduct their research in the area of medical retina; demonstrate outstanding leadership skills; have a proven record of excellence in the field of research; be able to establish how their proposed research Project will assist the practice of ophthalmology in Australia and New Zealand; and be able to establish the ongoing benefits of the Research Fellowship both personally and to the practice of Ophthalmology in Australia and New Zealand.

For detailed information and application guidelines goto: www.eyefoundation.org.au/projects/scholarships/371-2015-medical-retinal-fellowships

 
First Online Course Held in Ocular Therapeutics PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 21 March 2014

Last month The Australian College of Optometry officially launched the Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics course with full capacity enrollment of 51 participants. The course is the first online course in Australia that enables scheduled medicines endorsement for registered optometrists. Course content is delivered by an expert team of both national and international presenters, via flexible methods including online lectures, webinars, forums and local clinical placements.

The second intake will commence in August 2014, expressions of interest are being taken now and can be registered on the ACO-COT webpage. Applications for the next course will open on 1 April 2014.

 
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